film festival

  • New York Film Academy Students to Attend the Women’s International Film & Arts Festival



    As International Women’s Day approaches, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) is excited to announce that we’re giving away a number of tickets to a lucky few NYFA students at the New York City campus to attend the Women’s International Film & Arts Festival (WIFF). Though this year is the first time the festival is held in New York City, WIFF is celebrating its 12th anniversary.

    Launched in Miami, WIFF is a leading international film festival and two-day conference. This year, it will screen more than 40 films made by or about women in addition to hosting panels, lectures, and conversations about the state of the industry.

    The New York Film Academy is hosting a raffle for students to enter for a chance attend the red carpet premiere of Culture of Fear on March 8. Set in a dystopian future, the film examines the abuse of power after the internet is banned from society. Golden Globe nominee Malcolm McDowell, Steven Bauer, and director Kayla Tabish will also attend the premiere.

    Culture of Fear film poster via IMDB

    Culture of Fear film poster via IMDB

    NYFA raffle winners will also get a chance to attend WIFF’s Women in Film and Entertainment Conference. Some panels will look into what happens as women navigate from film school to film set, while others will provide tips for how to build a successful pitch. The full agenda is available on the WIFF site. For students who’d like to attend, there are tickets available for purchase as well. You can learn more here.

    To continue the celebration of Women’s History Month even beyond International Women’s Day, NYFA is sharing daily #WomenOfNYFA tweets on social media. Every day throughout the month, a new graduate will be showcased via the @NYFA account. Tune in to learn more about our illustrious alumnae.


    March 6, 2018 • Community Highlights, Film Festivals • Views: 1428

  • Young Saudi Film Festival Unveils Lineup of Films at New York Film Academy


    On Monday, the Young Saudi Film Festival, hosted by the New York Film Academy, announced the films it will showcase this season. The festival opens Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Harmony Gold Preview House in Los Angeles. The eight films — six from Saudi Arabia and two from Egypt — cover a wide range of genres, from comedy to drama, thriller to family film.

    “We had an impressive variety of films submitted from around the world, and we congratulate all the filmmakers,” said YSFF President and NYFA student Rakan Anneghaimshi (Spring 2016 BFA Acting). “It was very challenging for our selection committee to choose only eight films.”

    Dan Mackler, Director of NYFA Los Angeles, greets YSFF President Rakan Anneghaimshi.

    The committee consisted of NYFA Faculty Miraj Grbic (actor, Mission Impossible), producer Tony Schwartz, and James Coburn (production sound), among others, who did the first round of viewing. The second round of judging was led by YSFF Vice President and NYFA alum Abdulaziz Almutari (Fall 2015 MFA Cinematography) and Maan bin Abdulrahman (January 2013 BFA Filmmaking) of Prince of Arabia Entertainment.

    Impressed with the amount of NYFA involvement in creating this festival, Dean of Enrollment Services Tami Alexander said, “We are very proud that New York Film Academy alumni and students are leading the media and entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia. We support Rakan and Abdulaziz’s vision for the Young Saudi Film Festival and are happy to sponsor the Festival in Los Angeles. After the announcement that cinemas will be allowed in the Kingdom again, I could not be more thrilled. We look forward to strengthening relationships and are excited for new collaborations in Saudi Arabia.”

    In addition to the films, the festival will include a congratulatory video by Saudi Arabian actor Nasser Al Gassaby, a performance by the NYFA Improv Troupe (directed by Groundlings legends Suzanne Kent and George McGrath), and a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers moderated by host Maan B.

    VIP invitees include the Saudi Arabian Ambassador, the Saudi Consul, the US Ambassadors from the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, the UAE’s Minister of Education, along with top-level Saudi Arabian actors, producers, filmmakers, and media.

    The complete lineup of films includes:

    Bloodline written and directed by Saud Al-Moghirah, produced by Javier Olmo

    Coexistence by Musab Alamri

    Hero Complex written and directed by Mohamad AlYamani, produced by Mohamad AlYamani and Douglas Spain

    The Nostalgia written by Sarah Lotfy, directed and produced by Moataz Badran

    Piece of Wood by Yassin Koptan

    The Scapegoat written by Charlie H. Millen & Stephen Ranieri, directed by Talha B., produced by Maan B.

    Spirit of North by Mohammad Ali Almarhabi

    Under Concrete by Meshal Al Jaser

    The Young Saudi Film Festival will be at the Harmony Gold Preview House on Sunday, February 18. It starts with a reception at 4 pm, and the program begins at 5 pm. To attend, please RSVP at




    February 14, 2018 • Community Highlights, Film Festivals, Filmmaking • Views: 2172

  • New York Film Academy Alum Receives International Film Festival Manhattan Award

    Jameelah Rose del Prado Lineses

    Jameelah Rose del Prado Lineses

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Jameelah Rose del Prado Lineses knows first-hand how much hard work goes into making a film—which makes her Honorable Mention at 2017’s International Film Festival Manhattan all the more rewarding. In October, after screening her documentary “The Lifestyles of Expats in Jeddah,” Jameelah was the proud recipient of the IFFM’s Film Festival Director Louie Award Honorable Mention.

    This isn’t Jameelah’s first award, either. Her previous documentaries, “Historic Jeddah” and “Our Journey to Hijaz” have also garnered significant praise from multiple festivals in the last several years.

    2017’s International Film Festival Manhattan

    2017’s International Film Festival Manhattan

    A recurring theme in her work is the challenge women face while living in Saudi Arabia. The uphill battle women face, especially in filmmaking, has helped focus her vision and strengthen her voice.

    Jameelah first attended the New York Film Academy’s 8-Week Filmmaking Workshop in June 2011, before enrolling two months later in the 1-Year Filmmaking program at the New York City campus. There, Jameelah was given hands-on training with state-of-the-art film equipment and taught the skills necessary for pre-production through post-production.

    This intensive education prepared Jameelah for a career in filmmaking.“My instructors at NYFA ensured their students after graduation are already well-rounded and equipped to work in any film department,” stated Jameelah.

    Even after making several documentaries and garnering numerous honors, Jameelah still applies the training she received at NYFA. “I made sure that I took down notes for every class,” said Jameelah, adding, “I still have all my notes until now, and I review it at times when I need a refresher.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Jameelah on her Honorable Mention for “The Lifestyles of Expats in Jeddah,” and looks forward to the important stories she will tell in the future!

    Jameelah also recently celebrated the world premier of her short film “Reunion,” for which she is the associate producer, at the Anthology Film Archives. “Reunion” is an official selection for the NewFilmmakers New York  film festival.
    The Lifestyles of Expats in Jeddah

    The Lifestyles of Expats in Jeddah

  • Harper’s Bazaar Profiles New York Film Academy Alum Khadijah Kudsi

    Khadijah Kudsi

    Copyright © Harper’s Bazaar Arabia 2017

    With the 14th Annual Dubai International Film Festival coming to a close this December, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia profiled six pioneering female filmmakers from the Middle East, including New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Khadijah Kudsi. The in-depth piece about the six directors not only celebrates their hard work and achievements, but highlights the cultural shift taking place in the 21st Century Middle East, and subsequent progress women have made in playing a larger role in society—including the arts.

    NYFA alum Khadijah Kudsi grew up in Saudi Arabia and was always artistic and interested in storytelling. She told Harper’s Bazaar, “I went to New York Film Academy in Abu Dhabi in 2014. I only meant to go for four weeks, but that turned into eight, which led into a year and then into a whole career. I did a diploma in filmmaking and then I started working on short films and writing.”

    After graduating from the Academy, Kudsi quickly found work for a Chinese television channel. As her career has progressed, Kudsi likes to focus on stories from Abu Dhabi and the Middle East, including one film that’s premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and another currently in production focusing on Dana Al Ali—the first Emirati woman to climb Mt. Everest.

    Kudsi continued, “I think it’s important to have ties to this region and highlight positive stories coming out of it. But it’s not always easy—the funding is hard. As is finding the right producer and managing your time being a mother and a working woman.”

    Festivals in the Middle East have grown in importance as more and more voices from the region are making themselves heard. The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) first launched in 2004 with 76 films and 13,000 attendees. During its initial six-day run, acting legend Omar Sharif was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The festival has steadily grown since then, with over 60,000 admissions to its 2016 event. This year marked the 14th Annual Dubai International Film Festival and presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Irrfan Khan and Sir Patrick Stewart.

    As the region modernizes and women are being given more and more freedom, their roles in society are becoming more prominent as well. For Middle Eastern women working in the arts, that uphill struggle feels all the more real, considering the industry has been historically unequal not just in the region but around the world. Kudsi told Harper’s Bazaar, “I have four children, whereas most of the crew you work with on set are single or have no kids. They don’t understand when you say you need to wrap by a certain time because I need to go see my kids.”

    The New York Film Academy strives to give filmmakers and artists of all kinds a voice, and prides itself on its diverse student body. By learning and working hands-on together, students find their differences are a strength—learning and sharing experiences not just from the school but from one another. If you’re interested in filmmaking or the visual arts, you can find more information about NYFA’s programs here.

    NYFA has committed itself to giving aspiring storytellers in the Middle East an education they can build their careers on. The New York Film Academy is thrilled to see Khadijah Kudsi recognized for her inspiring work and career, and looks forward to the stories she will tell in the years to come. “I love the rawness in the stories here,” professed Kudsi, “and we have so much to talk about.”

  • New York Film Academy Alum & Associate Director of Recruitment Screens Powerful Documentary “I Heart Jenny”

    "I Heart Jenny"

    “I Heart Jenny” at the New York Film Academy’s New York City Theatre

    “I Heart Jenny,” a heart-wrenching and beautiful documentary by producer and director Blake Babbitt, had a special screening this December at the New York Film Academy’s recently opened New York City Theatre. The film follows Babbitt’s close friend Jenny Rie Vanderlinden as she struggled with and eventually succumbed to a rare form of ovarian cancer. More importantly, the documentary focuses on the powerful positive spirit Jenny embodied, inspiring her friends, family, and eventually total strangers with her optimism and zestful love of life.

    In a piece written about Jenny, the Huffington Post wrote, “Jenny doesn’t seem terrified of this thing that is so far beyond us, this thing that none of us can now see… Instead, she’s investing her unconquerable energy in living the spectacular life she’s always lived—skiing, canyoneering, rafting, traveling and raising four amazing children—with a bit more urgency.”

    “I Heart Jenny” started documenting Jenny’s journey over a year after her diagnosis, and followed her right up until her untimely end, a death she refused to allow to shadow her life. Babbitt was inspired to make the documentary after seeing the “I Heart Jenny” stickers their mutual friends began posting frequently as badges of support.

    "I Heart Jenny"

    “I Heart Jenny”

    The initial idea of the documentary came to Babbitt during a pitch session that was part of his curriculum while attending the New York Film Academy’s Evening Producing workshop. From there, he started a years long journey, utilizing the skills, resources, and colleagues he met while at NYFA. “I had never made a film before,” said Babbitt, “but I was able to use the resources at NYFA to get my feet underneath me. At NYFA I was surrounded by people who really knew what they were doing. I felt supported by NYFA the entire way.”

    Shooting the film took two years, and was in post-production for another three—a long, laborious process that is not uncommon for documentaries, especially works of passion and as personal as “I Heart Jenny.” During this time, Babbitt not only applied the skills he learned at NYFA, but also used the connections made there to help his film see the light of day. In addition to being a distinguished alumnus, Babbitt is also currently the school’s Associate Director of Recruitment. With this notable position, he is able to guide incoming students as they look to grow as artists and filmmakers in their own right.

    Blake Babbitt

    Producer & Director Blake Babbitt

    As a result of the relationships formed at the New York Film Academy, Babbitt was able to recruit a strong, talented crew for “I Heart Jenny”—many alumni and staff from the school—including:

    Kathleen Harris – DP/Producer
    Brad Gallant – Lead Editor/Producer
    Zena Wood – Associate Producer
    Mike Diaz – Editor/Story Producer
    Chris Hayes – Editor
    Mike Walls – Camera Operator
    Shani Patel – Sound recordist/2nd Camera Operator
    Lexi Phillips – Colorist

    It was only fitting then that “I Heart Jenny” had its initial preview at the New York Film Academy. Babbitt continued, “It was an honor to be able to host my first screening in our stunning new screening room.”

    Andrea Swift, New York Film Academy’s Chair of Documentary Filmmaking, was in attendance, and was very impressed with Babbitt’s debut film. “It takes extraordinary passion, commitment, and talent to make a film like this.” She added, “This film can do real good in the world.”

    The specific cancer that took Jenny’s life was related to the BRCA gene, a sequence of DNA that has become more and more noted in recent years for its ominous relationship to many types of cancer. While making “I Heart Jenny,” Babbitt linked up with Jonathan and Mindy Gray, founders of the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine. The Basser Center is the first of its kind to focus specifically on BRCA-related cancers, and Babbitt has tied his film to their worthy cause, helping to raise donations for further research (click here if you’d like to support the Basser Center as well.)

    While it’s been a long, winding road for Babbitt and “I Heart Jenny,” their journey is far from over. Babbitt’s goal is to get the documentary into the Telluride Film Festival, based in Colorado where Babbitt is from and where he first met Jenny. According to Babbitt, “If it gets in, she wants me to bring a cardboard cutout of her—LOL!”

    In addition to submitting the film to as many festivals as possible, Babbitt is also hoping to get distribution, hoping the more people who see the film, the more they will take home its poignant message and look to support the fight against BRCA-related cancers. Babbitt continued, “We’ve had so many supporters along the way, and anytime I felt dejected or lost in the process, I would just think about our supporters and Jenny. I knew I couldn’t let her or them down.”

    Supporters of the film can follow updates on Facebook as well as on Twitter. You can also follow Babbitt’s filmmaking exploits on Instagram.

    The New York Film Academy is proud of Blake Babbitt and “I Heart Jenny,” and wishes him the best of luck as he continues the legacy of Jenny Rie Vanderlinden and her powerful story.

    I Heart Jenny Promo- Extended Version from Blake Babbitt on Vimeo.

  • New York Film Academy Alum Wins Big With “Dancing Wheels”


    Credit: PRLog

    Lucia Barata wanted to support the Dancing Wheels Company & School, an organization dedicated to teaching and showcasing dancers both with and without disabilities. Lucia decided to put the filmmaking skills she had learned over the years toward this goal to bring more exposure to Dancing Wheels and help them find more support and sponsors. Her efforts are paying off as her documentary, “Dancing Wheels,” is quickly collecting both awards and acclaim, including Best Film at the International Student, Newcomer, and Woman Movie Awards (ISENMA) 2017.

    Since 1980, Dancing Wheels has dedicated itself to providing “a unifying expression of movement for all,” exhibiting dance as an essential illustration of the human spirit, including from people of all abilities. Since adding a school to its company in 1990, Dancing Wheels has become one of the foremost arts and disabilities organizations in the country.

    By using the medium of film to showcase both the incredible dancing of the company’s members, as well as the passion and heart behind these beautiful physical movements, Lucia Barata was able to bring Dancing Wheels’s mission statement to a larger audience, including those outside the United States.

    The International Student, Newcomer, and Woman Movie Awards are held in Indonesia and were founded in 2015, collaborating with the Film Festivals Alliance. Creating a platform and opportunities for both Indonesian and International filmmakers, the festival accepts narrative and documentary submissions from film students, newcomers (non-student, professional, recreational, or amateur filmmakers) and female filmmakers from around the world.

    Out of a selection of 350 films, “Dancing Wheels,” was nominated for Best Film alongside three other films. Despite the competition, the documentary was an audience favorite and took home the big prize. The award ceremony was held in Bali and attended by an illustrious crowd, including Indonesian royals. Barata accepted the Best Film award from His Majesty the King of Bonea Selayar, H. Andi Mahyuddin.

    While ISENMA presented “Dancing Wheels” with its first Best Film award, the documentary has already picked up several other accolades, including the Diamond Award in Short Documentary and Platinum Award for Editor of the Year at the Directors Awards, the Medal of the Year and Platinum Award for Director of the Year from the Filmmakers of the Year Film Festival, and the Royal High Achievement Award from Royal World Prize & Records.

    “This film is the one I’m very proud of,” remarked Barata, adding, “there are no boundaries to dance.” Barata was born in Brazil and already had an impressive education in art and architecture before enrolling at the New York Film Academy in 2012. Taking the 1-Year Filmmaking program in New York City, Barata learned the skills necessary to telling a story—fictional or nonfictional—through a visual medium.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates alumna Lucia Barata on “Dancing Wheels” and its awards, and looks forward to seeing what further accolades her career will bring!


    November 30, 2017 • Documentary Filmmaking, Film Festivals • Views: 1811

  • New York Film Academy Alum’s “Newton” Selected as India’s Entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award


    Amit V Masurkar’s “Newton”

    “Newton,” a feature-length film by NYFA alumnus Amit V Masurkar, is now in the running for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film — just one in a long line of successes the Indian dark comedy-drama and its writer & director have already seen.

    Co-written and directed by Amit, “Newton” stars Rajkummar Rao as Newton Kumar, a rookie government clerk who seeks to uphold democracy and conduct fair elections in Chhattisgarh’s conflict-ridden jungles. The film has received positive reviews, including from India’s Huffington Post, which called it “a touching, personal and very human film.”

    Amit first premiered “Newton” at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the CICAE Art Cinema Award. Since then, Amit has presented his film at nearly 50 festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival in April, where it screened in the International Narrative Competition, and the Hong Kong International Film Festival, where it won the coveted Jury Prize.

    An Academy Award would be the crowning achievement to go with these accolades, and the journey to attaining one is a long and tough road. Films that are produced outside of the United States and are delivered in a predominantly non-English language are eligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. Unlike other Oscars, the Foreign Language Film Award is unique in that the golden statue is presented not to the filmmakers, but to the nation that produced it—adding an air of patriotic pride to the category.

    Each country must then select just one film per year to represent it at the Academy Awards, creating a lot of competition between movies of all genres, especially in a nation as populated and cinema-oriented as India. “Newton” was selected from a shortlist of 26 films to represent India at this year’s Oscars, and the final nominations from five different countries will be announced along with the other Academy Award noms early next year. The 90th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 4, 2018.

    Amit V Masurkar honed his screenwriting skills at New York Film Academy’s New York campus, taking the 8-Week Screenwriting workshop in 2009. After writing for numerous sketch and comedy shows, Amit’s directorial feature-length debut “Sulemani Keeda” became a surprise indie hit. “Newton” is only his second feature film, and Amit has proven to be one of India’s most exciting voices in filmmaking.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Amit V Masurkar on such a fantastic achievement, and looks forward to seeing what further accomplishments he and “Newton” will achieve!

  • NYFA Alum Oguzhan Akdogan Organizes Hollywood Turkish Film Festival


    New York Film Academy alumnus Oguzhan Akdogan has been working hard to put together the first annual Hollywood Turkish Film Festival in Los Angeles. The festival is designed to promote Turkish cinema in the West and to give young filmmakers an opportunity to network. Akdogan sat down with New York Film Academy Correspondent Joelle Smith to speak about the work he did for the festival and what he’s planning next.

    NYFA: How did you become involved with this festival?

    Akdogan: The festival founders were looking for a producer who knew Los Angeles County well. I sent an e-mail to them to introduce myself. I knew that I would be a great option for this position because I had been working as a producer for the past 2 years in Los Angeles.

    Hollywood Turkish Film Festival

    NYFA: Why are festivals like this important to you?

    Akdogan: I am a director, producer, and an actor. Naturally, the Hollywood Turkish Film Festival is very important to me. This was an opportunity to represent my country in an international arena. This is the first festival in LA for Turkish filmmakers.

    NYFA: Was there anything about putting this festival together that surprised you?

    Akdogan: Definitely, yes! Honestly, I did not expect that I needed to contact magazines and newspapers. When the festival director called me, I was really surprised. He mentioned that we would need to run our advert through Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and LA Weekly. This was the beginning of the media process for me. It has been a pleasure communicating with such nice media representatives.

    Hollywood Turkish Film Festival

    NYFA: Which filmmakers were you excited to bring to the festival?

    Akdogan: It was an honor to meet Jacqueline Bisset. She is such an outstanding film actress. When I was a kid, I would watch her films on TV. I never thought that one day this amazing artist would be my guest or that I would walk her to the stage. She is one of the most important figures in world cinema and I am very happy to have met her.

    NYFA: What films should our readers look out for?

    Akdogan: I highly recommend the film “Alya.” It is Turkey’s official selection for the 90th Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film. This is a must-see movie. The film is based on a true story and the director tells that story in a very dramatic way.

    Also, I recommend the films; “Troy,” “Plane Tree,” and “Rosso Istanbul.” They are great feature films, which include different cinematic perspectives.

    Hollywood Turkish Film Festival

    NYFA: Now that all is said and done, how do you feel about the festival?

    Akdogan: This festival is really a dream come true for me. I feel lucky and proud when I think about this project. I have experienced wonderful moments in my life as a producer. I have realized that the film world keeps me alive and happy. I cannot live without art.

    I feel confident since I made a solid contribution to the Hollywood Turkish Film Festival, at Paramount Pictures Studios, and I became a part of such an outstanding organization!

    NYFA: Why should NYFA students attend festivals?

    Akdogan: I would love for NYFA students to attend this festival because it was built on a love of cinema. We screened five short films and four feature films. After the screenings, audience members had a chance to talk with the directors about their storytelling process.

    NYFA: What did you learn from this experience?

    Akdogan: The best thing about the festival is the team’s collaborative spirit. I have learned many wonderful things from them. This organization has inspired me to be better every day. What can be greater than that!?

    Hollywood Turkish Film Festival

    NYFA: What’s up next for you?

    Akdogan: I am producing the 6th Hollywood Turkish Film Festival with this amazing crew. Look for the festival in 2018.

    Also, I am writing a feature horror film. If everything goes well, I will direct my first feature soon. In addition, I am going to produce a couple of feature films in the next year.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Oguzhan Akdogan for taking the time to speak with us. We’re looking forward to the 2nd Annual Hollywood Turkish Film Festival coming to you in 2018.

  • NYFA Students Attend NewFilmmakers LA “InFocus” Event


    On Saturday, September 16th, 2017, New York Film Academy students were invited to attend an “InFocus” event of the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival on Latino and Hispanic Cinema. The evening was held at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study located in the heart of Hollywood.

    Many of the NYFA attendees were coming directly from their Graduation ceremonies. Students were able to rub elbows with stars like Luis Guzmán (“Boogie Nights” and “Carlito’s Way”) and Jason George (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as they walked the red carpet.

    Luis Guzman | New York Film Academy

    Three distinct screenings were held over a five-hour period. The first program featured four short films from the United States, Cuba, and Spain. The first of these stories highlighted the elation and struggle of immigrating to another country. The next film dramatized a re-telling of the life of Venezuelan radio voice-over performer, Hernán de Béky. The third dealt with a sister coping with the loss of her older brother, and in the final film, a journalist tries to uncover the truth behind a corrupt president injured in an apparent terrorist attack.


    Program number two featured short films from Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala, and the United States of America. Their subjects ranged from escaping an abusive husband, a young woman fighting loneliness, a mother traversing the country of Mexico to bring her son his only birthday wish (a Donald Trump piñata), and finally, an abstract exploration of the journeys two women have taken throughout time.

    NewFilmmakers LA "InFocus"

    The final screening was a feature-length documentary written and directed by Guillermo García López called “Frágil Equilibrio.” In it, the director takes a look at three stories that unfold in different places on earth and in different socio-cultural spheres. The film explores the delicate balance it takes to share the planet between a Japanese executive in Tokyo, a sub-Saharan community in Africa, and a family in Madrid.


    One student in attendance gushed about getting to see the work of another Venezuelan, “It gave me hope,” he said. “We got to see a lot of talented Hispanic filmmakers,” another student chimed in, “but my favorite thing about today was getting a chance to network with like-minded individuals.” Yet another student spoke up about the importance of representation in cinema. “My favorite movie was “The Machine” because it’s a Cuban related film and I’m Cuban. “It was great to see immigration tackled with humor and respect.”


    The New York Film Academy would like to thank New Filmmakers LA for giving our students an opportunity to see these amazing pieces of work.


    September 27, 2017 • Film Festivals • Views: 1943

  • NYFA Works with Pan African Film & Arts Festival


    In celebration of Black History month, the New York Film Academy Industry Lab partnered with the Diversity department with the 24th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles from February 4th -15th. Established in 1992, PAFF is a non-profit 501 (c)(b) corporation dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among people of African descent and is dedicated to racial tolerance through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression.

    pan african

    Ardrian Newell, a current documentary student at New York Film Academy, Maram Al Joaser, a recent graduate from the Masters of Cinematography program, and Allyson Manno, a graduate from New York Film Academy’s Masters in Filmmaking program, all industry lab members, got the opportunity to work three of the screenings and panels.

    The first panel was a conversation with Nate Parker about his directorial debut feature film The Birth of a Nation. In addition to directing, Nate played the starring role in this Biopic about Nat Turner and his famous slave revolt in Northern Virginia. The film garnered much buzz at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being purchased by Fox Searchlight.

    The second panel followed a screening of Oscar nominated film Creed director/screenwriter Ryan Coogler and screenwriter Aaron Covington. They discussed at length their motivations and inspirations for making the film and Coogler’s quick rise as a powerful voice in Hollywood as an acclaimed filmmaker.

    creed cam

    The third panel followed a screening of the documentary feature by Abby Ginzber and Frank Dawson, Agents of Change, which tells the story of the unrecognized individuals whose commitment to justice and equality paved the way for the student activists of today. The film, which is the centerpiece of this year’s PAFF, acts as a reminder of all that was done to achieve equality, dignity, and equity on education campuses as well as paving the way for societal reform in America, during the 1960’s and beyond.

    The New York Film Academy is proud to collaborate with this year’s PAFF in bringing diverse voices to the public conversation and look to expand our collaboration in the future.


    February 26, 2016 • Community Highlights, Guest Speakers • Views: 3111